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Power Food: Original Recipes by Rens Kroes for Happy Healthy Living Hardcover – November 15, 2016
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About the Author
Rens Kroes was born and raised in Friesland a small town north of Holland. Her grandfather was the first organic farmer in Friesland and her grandmother was a herbwife. Her mother was a certified nutritionist and taught Rens and her sister everything she knew about healthy and delicious foods. Rens currently lives in Amsterdam and works as a nutritionist helping people find the path to a balanced lifestyle of healthy eating, exercise and relaxation. Her mission is to make the Netherlands and the planet a healthier happier place.
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Top customer reviews
But this is not a cookbook for everyone. There are lots and lots of different superfood-type ingredients and spices that the majority of home cooks do not use. Some are used in such small quantities that buying them just to make one or recipes seems extravagant unless you are planning to incorporate superfoods and/or exotic spices into your daily routine. Some of the spices are impossible to find and others are quite expensive, so it would have been nice if the author had given more suggestions for substitutes. A couple of those ingredients are:
Laos powder - I found out that this is what we in the US call galangal, but my local Whole Foods had neither. Ginger can be substituted, but it is not the same.
Lucuma powder - It is very expensive.
Maca powder - more easily available. Kind of expensive.
Also, chlorella powder, coconut blossom sugar, Madame Jeanette chiles, Inca berries, guarana powder and samphire.
If you routinely use those items, you are in luck, but I have found that some of them are very hard to find unless mail-ordered.
So far I've only made a few of the recipes, and they came out well enough to make me want to go further. I've included photos of them:
-- Oven Roasted Peppers - these are essentially mini-peppers stuffed with hummus, and they are delicious. I think her mini-peppers are smaller than the ones I get at Trader Joe's because, in the book's photo, they are overstuffed with hummus. That would be too overwhelming for the size of mini-peppers I can get. Still, this was simple and ingenious and a great, healthy snack.
-- Hazelnut Milk - easy to make, tasty and without all of the fillers and additives that commercial nut milks have. Thin and reminiscent in many ways to Mexican horchata, but with vanilla in place of cinnamon. Hazelnuts are expensive, and there are a lot of ground hazelnuts made in the process (pictured in the sieve). It made me wonder if there wasn't some way Kroes might suggest to use those.
-- Kick-Start - this is billed as "probably the most delicious and healthiest breakfast ever!" It is not more delicious than French Toast, ok? But seriously, for a simple, delicious, healthy breakfast, this works. It is filling and stays with you for hours upon hours. I would describe it as pulverized muesli. Also, I admit to drizzling mine with maple syrup. It is best eaten immediately after it is blended - it gets a bit hard in the fridge.
I was going to make the "Good Noodles," which feature shrimp and soba noodles, but when I read that it took a total of four pots and pans to make what initially seemed like a fairly simple dish, I scrapped it.
I like what I made, but so many of the ingredients are very expensive, too difficult to find or both. I love the energy conveyed in the book and the recipes have been pretty good. There are great recipes for snacks, juice blends and smoothies. And the cupcake recipe looks as though it might be worth the cost of the book.
Unfortunately, I can't give a cookbook about healthy food five stars when there is no nutritional information included. If I am going to go to all of the trouble that many of these recipes require, I'd really like to know precisely what nutritional benefits I'd gain by doing so.
,I wonder if it would be possible to induce seizures entirely through the use of eccentric typography? The recipes seem like they might be healthy and I like the old standbys like zuchinni slab pizza, though the author seems to think she invented that. I am guessing that the author is a celebrity of some sort given the abundance of slightly soft focus close ups of her, including the closest thing to a underwear crotch shot I have ever seen in a Cook book. There is no detailed nutritional information except for a page or two in the back which is mostly anecdotal.
I want to address that at first I was turned off by two things about this cookbook. Number one is she is a young woman who has made this cookbook not just about recipes and food but it is about her--- she has a whole bunch of flirty and sexy photos including a handful of her in her panties. The photos remind me of selfies and to be honest I don't really care about the author or her looks, I use cookbooks for learning new recipes. I mean to say I value the wisdom and knowledge shared by women (and men) more than I care what they look like or how thin they are and I really don't want to see anybody in their underwear, anywhere, let alone in a cookbook!! I wish that women could be valued for their smarts and knowledge base and not have to sell a nonfiction book or a cookbook with sex. The little notes about her enjoying a meal with a boyfriend or Her nephew really don't add any value either. These things make the cookbook seem self indulgent. A cookbook should be about the food and a healthy cookbook should be about health and wellness, not about the author's personsl life.
After ignoring this cookbook for a month because of what I just explained in the last paragraph, I dove into the book and I do like the revipes in the book so I am rating this 4 stars, I like it. The cookbook defies pure classifications so I will try and explain. There are some common meat dishes which she uses vegetables instead however this is not a vegetarian only cookbook. I don't see any recipes with wheat in them. I thought this might also be a gluten-free cookbook but I did find a recipe that uses rye which has gluten. Many time she looks for substitutes to Cow milk and uses a range from Allmond milk to coconut milk to goat milk and also spelt cream. So you can see that her choices of milks are not only vegetarian / vegan either. This is not a grain free cookbook, she does use whole oats as well as a bunch of other grains. She also uses quite a bit of soy despite it being a known highly allergenic food and despite its problems with being a phyto estrogen and a controversial GMO food crop in USA.
She also uses some very trendy expensive food items such as dried mulberries, hemp protein, Chia seed, and lacuma powder. One criticism as she doesn't really explain what makes one thing better than another and I don't know myself if something she used is worth paying 10 times the price of other similar nutritional value foods on the market. Lacuma powder is so expensive!
Some of the ingredients she uses are not easy to find in the USA even in cities where natural foods are readily available at multiple different large chain stores. I have never seen spelt milk, spelt cream, laos powder spice, or goat cream.
One last criticism is I'm rather surprised that she uses bouillon cubes to make her soup, even meat bouillon. These are the worst quality and I'm surprised she doesn't recommend using factory made organic stock instead, although a homemade all natural meat, organic, homemade bone broth would be the absolute ideal preference if we're talking about health benefits. (Go research bone broth if you are unaware.)
I'm still going to rate this four stars I like it despite my few criticisms because overall this is healthy food even though some of the ingredients here are not fitting with the anti-inflammation diet or a grain free diet, it is certainly much much better than the standard American diet. Those of us with food intolerances and allergies will just have to do substitutes as were already used to doing...no problem.